Preparing Year 4 and 5 Pupils for the 11+ Exam: A Guide for Parents

Blog 2 –  Preparing Year 4 and 5 Pupils for the 11+ Exam: A Guide for Parents – Conexus Tuition Shifnal

As an experienced educator with a background in teaching a range of subjects to young learners, I’ve witnessed firsthand the importance of early and effective preparation for the 11+ exams. This pivotal assessment determines eligibility for entry into the UK’s grammar schools, which are renowned for their academic rigour and excellence. The 11+ exam typically encompasses tests in Maths, English, verbal reasoning, and non-verbal reasoning. Here, I’ll share practical tips and resources to support your child’s journey toward academic success.

 1. Understanding the Basics

Parents and pupils should start with a solid understanding of what the 11+ exam entails. Familiarise yourself with the format and the types of questions your child will encounter. This foundational knowledge will help you tailor your support effectively.

 2. Maths Preparation

Basics First: Ensure your child has a strong grasp of basic arithmetic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) as these are crucial for tackling more complex problems.

Problem-Solving Skills: Encourage them to solve word problems regularly. This enhances their ability to apply mathematical concepts in real-world scenarios.

Regular Practice: Utilise resources like Maths Made Easy ([]( for worksheets and practice tests tailored to the 11+ exam.

3. English Preparation

Reading Habit: Cultivate a habit of reading diverse materials, including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. This not only improves vocabulary but also enhances comprehension skills.

Writing Practice: Encourage your child to write stories, letters, or diary entries to improve their writing skills. Focus on punctuation, grammar, and creative expression.

Comprehension Exercises: Practice comprehension questions using resources like 11 Plus Guide ([]( to enhance understanding and analysis of texts.

4. Verbal Reasoning Preparation

Vocabulary Building: A strong vocabulary is crucial for verbal reasoning. Engage your child in activities like word games, flashcards, and reading to expand their vocabulary.

Practice Tests: Regular practice with verbal reasoning tests will help your child become familiar with the question types. Websites like Bond 11+ (]( offer a plethora of resources.

5. Non-Verbal Reasoning Preparation

Pattern Recognition: Non-verbal reasoning tests often involve identifying patterns among shapes. Play games that involve pattern recognition to develop these skills in a fun and engaging way.

Spatial Awareness: Activities that involve building or creating things can enhance spatial awareness, an important skill for non-verbal reasoning.

6. General Tips for Success

Start Early: Begin preparation in Year 4, ideally no later than the summer term, to ensure a gradual and less stressful learning curve.

Structured Schedule: Create a consistent study schedule that balances 11+ exam preparation with other activities to prevent burnout.

– Mock Exams: Periodically, have your child take full-length mock exams under timed conditions to build exam stamina and reduce anxiety.

Feedback and Support: Provide constructive feedback and emotional support throughout the preparation process. Celebrate achievements to keep motivation high.

7. Additional Resources

– CGP Books (]( Offers comprehensive study guides and practice papers for the 11+.

– Khan Academy (]( Although not 11+ specific, it’s an excellent resource for foundational Maths and English skills.

– Eleven Plus Exams (]( Provides a wealth of information on exam strategies and practice materials.

Preparing for the 11+ exam is undoubtedly a journey that requires dedication, patience, and the right strategies. As parents, your role in guiding, supporting, and encouraging your child cannot be overstated. Remember, every child is unique, and the goal should be to make this preparatory phase as engaging and stress-free as possible. By utilising the tips and resources provided, you’ll be well on your way to helping your child achieve their grammar school aspirations.